When I woke up on Sunday morning, it really hit me – I’m old. Reaching 20, two WHOLE decades, I realised that although I’ve made more than a 1000 mistakes (trial and error right?), I definitely have learned some lessons. So, here I am to share my wisdom (or common sense) with you all, telling you 10 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years.
1. Unfortunately, You Don’t ALWAYS Get What You Want.
Deemed ‘spoilt’ by my friends, not getting what I want, when I actually want it, is very triggering. However, you have to realise that not everything you want is what you need. You should trust that God, or the ‘universe’, will grant you what you need when you need it the most.
2. Having a Lot of Friends is DEFINITELY Overrated.
Contrary to popular belief, you actually don’t need to have the most friends to live your actual best life. Since 13, my friendship group, by choice, has DRASTICALLY decreased and I couldn’t be happier. In life people come and go, people grow and change and you have to just roll with the punches. They say you are the people you surround yourself with, so why not surround yourself with people who have your best interests at heart? Rather than people who don’t even come to your birthday meal? (no shade!)
3. Find What You Enjoy, and Do It.
The older you get, the more pressure starts to be applied when it comes to university and getting a job. Honestly, there is no point getting a job you definitely don’t enjoy, just so you can please your parents or fit in with your friends. Is making money more important than being happy? As you go through school/college/university, try new things, research new avenues. Find your passion and give power to it!
4. Plan, Plan, Plan!
If you know me, you know I’m a stickler for planning. I’ve got everything planned out, from my wedding (in Jamaica obviously), to how many kids I want. Realistically you can’t actually plan everything as tomorrow isn’t actually promised, and life actually doesn’t actually follow your script. But, you can plan your day. Give your days structure and see how much more things you achieve. Set goals, give yourself measurable targets and you’ll be surprised at how much easier life can get.
A very good book for this is ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy – I highly recommend.
5. Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company.
There’s a big difference between being lonely and simply being in your own company. The older you get, the busier you, and your friends get, with either work or university. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your own company, learning about yourself and just looking after yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup after all. As you get older, take time out for yourself and treat yourself – time alone is time well spent.
6. SAVE YOUR COINS – EVERY LITTLE HELPS.
Now, I am not the best one to talk to when it comes to all this saving malarkey, BUT saving is definitely essential. You never know when the money will come in handy, be it to pay for your driving lessons or to put money down on your first house or car. While I’m very much a beginner at saving, I do have two favourite saving methods:
- Saving £1 for each week of the year (e.g,. £1 for week one, £2 for week two, and so on. In one year, you’ll have saved £1,378.)
- Save a percentage of your monthly wages (e.g. 20% of a monthly earning of £400, in one year you would have saved £960).
You’ve probably heard it before and you’ll definitely hear it again but the earlier you start, the quicker the habit will set in.
7. Learn to Cook.
Now, as much as this sounds like something everyone should know, you’d be surprised at how many people come to uni unable to make rice (no shade, BUT, hold tight if the shoe fits). While at home, if at home, spend more time in the kitchen. Nobody is expecting you to be the next Gordon Ramsey, but learning to cook is such a process, especially when it’s only for one person. Learn how to make simple dishes and some staple dishes and it will most likely come in handy when you least expect it.
8. That Essay/Revision/Project? Start It (ASAP).
EVERYONE who knows me, knows that I am the Queen of lastminute.com work. Nevertheless, it doesn’t come highly recommended, unless you can really handle the pressure. The longer you put it off, the harder it becomes to start and when you eventually do start, it’s so much harder to do. Start things as soon as you get it and you’ll see how much easier it is to meet your deadline. After all, why put off till tomorrow what you can do today?
9. Forgiveness is Freedom.
That grudge you’re holding onto? Let it go. Stop dedicating time, effort and energy into harbouring hate for people, who are most likely getting on with their lives. Bare in mind, nobody is saying to forget. However, remember that forgiveness doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t mean you condone the persons behaviour – it makes you free.
10. Relax – Don’t Rush.
As much as you’d want to have life figured out and to ‘find’ yourself, you need to remember that there is no rush. You’re continuously growing, learning and developing as a person and there’s no need to have it all figured out – yet. Take the time to enjoy where you are now. Enjoy the little things in life. Because as soon as you take on those adult-like responsibilities, you’ll wish you were still 14 living your best life, rent-free, and getting your phone bill paid.
Remember it’s okay to be selfish, it’s okay to put yourself first and do what makes you happy. It may seem selfish, but having your best interest at heart is the right thing to do. Life is a journey, make sure you enjoy the ride.